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Blazers get chance at Antietam title

Baseball/Softball Notebook

Baseball/Softball Notebook

May 02, 2008|By DAN KAUFFMAN

The Maryland state baseball and softball playoffs start next Friday - but for the No. 5 Clear Spring baseball team, they might as well start today.

The Blazers (11-3, 6-1) will play their final three MVAL Antietam games in the next five days, and if they win all three, they'll clinch at least a share of their first Antietam title.

"(These games) are important to us because we've never been close to winning an MVAL title," Clear Spring coach Mark Shives said. "Holding our destiny in our hands was what we wanted at the beginning of the year. We didn't know how tough our conference would be at the beginning of the year, but it's turned out to be really tough with Brunswick and Catoctin. It's important for the region (seedings), too."

Clear Spring will host Brunswick (11-3, 5-2) today, travel to Williamsport (4-11, 0-8) on Monday, then host Antietam leader Catoctin (10-6, 7-0) on Tuesday.

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The Blazers beat Brunswick 1-0 at Brunswick on April 14, with Josh Constable and Jordan Thurber combining on a three-hitter. Catoctin beat Clear Spring 5-3 at home on April 24.

Shives said the Blazers will handle this week the same way they've handled everything this season - one pitch, one at-bat and one inning at a time.

"That's been our thing all year, take care of business and if we can win each inning and each small battle, we're going to win the war," he said.

* The MVAL Antietam softball race is even closer than the baseball race.

No. 5 Williamsport (12-2, 6-2), No. 7 Boonsboro (10-4, 5-2) and Catoctin (12-2, 5-2) are in a virtual three-way dead heat.

The Wildcats have split their two games with both the Warriors and the Cougars. Catoctin beat Boonsboro 7-3 at home on April 14, and the rematch in Boonsboro is set for this afternoon.

* The West Virginia state softball playoffs are underway, as the Class AAA Region II Section 2 double-elimination tournament started Wednesday night. No. 2-seed Hedgesville kicked things off with a 5-4 victory over No. 3-seed Martinsburg, then topped No. 1-seed Jefferson 1-0 on Thursday.

Jefferson will host Martinsburg today at 3 p.m. in an elimination game. The winner will face Hedgesville on Saturday - if it's Jefferson, the game will be played at Hedgesville at 2 p.m.; if it's Martinsburg, the game will be at Martinsburg at 3. Should Hedgesville lose Saturday, a final game would be played Monday at a site and time to be determined.

* The Four-State Baseball Classic - previously called the Mid-Maryland Classic - will be held on June 2 at Municipal Stadium.

The senior all-star event - organized by North Hagerstown assistant coach Dave Foltz, who also runs the Roundball Classic at the end of the basketball season - has expanded to feature athletes across Maryland, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Virginia. There will be two games, the Senior Stars game at 5:30 p.m., and the Four State Elite game at 7:45.

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